Commissioned by Knox Presbyterian Church Choir, Earl Rivers, Director of Music, and dedicated with gratitude to Christy and Scott Holland.
I have enjoyed a long and fruitful collaborative relationship with Dr. Earl Rivers, director of the Knox Choir and head of the conducting program at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. In addition to performing many of my works with the CCM Chamber Choir (including the very virtuosic A Dome of Many-Coloured Glass), he recently commissioned a work from me on texts of Shakespeare: Ding, Dong, Bell for SATB chorus, tenor solo, violin, vibraphone, and bass clarinet.
It is in this context that Earl has asked me to create this new work for the singers at Knox. Psalm 105 is a setting of the first six verses of that particular song of praise, adapted ever-so-slightly by me in my own translation to be all-welcoming and open in tone. The music features a very virtuosic and spirited part for the organist, including positively spritely triplet figurations in the manuals—and occasionally in the pedals and voices—set against long melodic ideas in the chorus. It’s energy is propulsive, rarely resting, with the exception of a short middle section emphasizing the “Glory of God’s holy name.” My music is optimistic, joyous, and full of fervor.
I dedicate this work humbly to Christy and Scott Holland, for all they have done to advance the cause of music both in their community at Knox Presbyterian and in the greater musical world.
Psalm 105, verses 1-6
Give thanks to God, call on his name,
make known his deeds among the people.
O sing to God, sing praise to God,
tell of all his wondrous works.
Glory in God’s holy name,
let the hearts of those that seek the Lord rejoice!
Seek the Lord and his strength;
seek his presence continually.
Remember the works he has done;
his miracles, and the judgments he uttered.
O offspring of his servant Abraham:
children of Jacob:
his chosen ones: